Shane's Glowing Intro

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Mon Jan 15 00:16:17 UTC 2007

Charles Butler wrote:
> In teaching SW I have had lefties and righties in my classes, and part of the difficulty sometimes is that the lefties have gotten so used to mirroring, that trying to get them to write down their own hands instead of everyone else's is a challenge.
>   Now, in the long term, I suppose a button in sign text that could take an entire sign, and reverse the image to left hand prime production would be ideal, that is a challenge for a programmer to work on, as it requires a full understanding of the whole production of a sign and reversing everything directionally if it is a personal sign and not one pointing at an object not present (like setting up multiple people).  Doing that will require a root understanding of the grammar of an utterance, and that will be another hurdle to jump over.
Hi Charles,
    I am a computer programmer and am learning SignWritting.  I was
thinking about what you wrote about mirroring a sign.  It seems to me
that flipping each symbol within the SignText rectangle then moving it
to the horizontal distance from the left side of the rectangle that
equals the distance between the right most edge of the symbol and the
right hand side of the square, any sign should be able to be mirrored. 
Of course then we would also have to pass the signs from the right-lane
to the left-lane and vice versa.  Your comment suggests that some signs
might not mirror properly doing it this way.  I was wondering if you
could think of any concrete examples.
    To change from "receptive" to "expressive"  I believe that it would
require changing the fill for the hand after mirroring the sign.

What do you think?

>   I learned SW when it was "receptive" 20 years ago, writing down the other person's hands, like actually copying a videotape and writing down with the right hand of the other person on the left, and the left hand on the right.  We did that for more than 5 years until the Deaf said "expressive" sign is the better way to write as one can always write one's own hands when no one else is there.  
>   Changing in my own head from "mirror" to "expressive" has been just as much of a challenge.
>   Charles Butler
>   Charles
> Pauline Roberts <capyboppy at> wrote:
>   Thanks for the warm welcome Val.
> I think I need to clarify though the difficulties I mean regarding the left
> handed issues. When I was learning the guitar, to move on from basic
> chords I needed to find a chord book that had the chord boxes. I don't
> know if people are familiar with these, bout they are a square box like
> grid, which represents the frets on the neck of the guitar, and also the
> six strings. You then have black or white dots representing where the
> fingers go. This has always been a problem as a leftie just can't look at
> the box and instantly know where the fingers go. Especially if a complex
> chord. We either have to keep going over each "dot" over and over again in
> our heads til it sinks in where it would be, or if it is thin paper, look
> through the reverse side to see. All this took time and was frustrating and
> confusing for the learning. I see a similar problem with Sign writing that is already written down in the normal right handed format, as again, I
> should imagine everything will need to be turned in reverse during the
> learning process. Like you say, writing it down by the leftie in a left
> handed format would be no problem. I do remember when learning new
> vocabulary at level 1 BSL, I would write down brief descriptions at the
> side of any words I thought I would have a problem remembering. This was
> fine until some of the others saw what I was doing and asked if they could
> borrow/photo copy my notes. When they realised the descriptions were left
> handed it totally confused them and most of them decided to leave it, as it
> would be more work having to convert everything to the opposite:-( No easy
> answer I suppose!


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